What “Waves” In A Lightwave?

Janet Shields

In this column, we have introduced experiments you can do with youngsters to help them understand a variety of light phenomena. Many of these articles have dealt with the characteristics and behavior of light, such as reflection, scattering, and color. A much more difficult question, in my opinion, is the very basic: What is light? In observing light phenomena with children, there are a lot of ways we can observe what light does. But to know what light is seems more difficult. I am not speaking so much of the wave/ particle quality, as of the simple idea of an electro-magnetic wave, and the concept of the existence of electric and magnetic fields.

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